``Have you not heard, Father Dennet,'' quoth one boor to another advanced in years, ``that the devil has carried away bodily the great Saxon Thane, Athelstane of Coningsburgh?''
``An please your reverence,'' said Dennet, ``a drunken priest came to visit the Sacristan at Saint Edmund's ''
``Well, then,'' answered Father Dennet, ``a holy brother came to visit the Sacristan at Saint Edmund's a sort of hedge-priest is the visitor, and kills half the deer that are stolen in the forest, who loves the tinkling of a pint-pot better than the sacring-bell, and deems a flitch of bacon worth ten of his breviary; for the rest, a good fellow and a merry, who will flourish a quarter-staff, draw a bow, and dance a Cheshire round, with e'er a man in Yorkshire.''
``That last part of thy speech, Dennet,'' said the Minstrel, ``has saved thee a rib or twain.''
``Tush, man, I fear him not,'' said Dennet; ``I am somewhat old and stiff, but when I fought for the bell and ram at Doncaster ''
``Nay, then, e'en tell the story yourself, my masters,'' said Dennet, turning sulky at these repeated contradictions; and it was with some difficulty that the boor could be prevailed on, by the request of his comrade and the Minstrel, to renew his tale.